Show Review: Mumford and Sons at the Music Box; June 4, 2010

6 Jun

By Allison Flaker

This past Friday, the Music Box at the Henry Fonda Theater was transformed into a backyard barn hoedown. The hosts: four salty Englishmen that make up Mumford and Sons. The night was literally a boot stomp’n, heart pump’n, banjo strum’n hell of a time that could have taken place on the English countryside.

As the quartet took the stage, the crowd was overwhelmed with the anticipation of their first song. Hoots and hollers could be heard as Marcus Mumford started singing with his intense, seedy voice he’s become so well known for and before long the foot stomping began. What this band brings to their album “Sigh No More,” and more importantly to the stage is their raw and gritty vocal adrenaline. The beautiful, story-like lyrics were sung with such conviction and purity everyone was greedily salivating for more. It was clear that the crowd was lost in a wave of euphoric glee as they traveled to a new world and discovered the sounds of old English folk.

Mumford’s last visit to LA was the Troubadour. Since then, times certainly have changed in that short period. They are now selling out a doubleheader at the Henry Fonda, which brought the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal both nights, and heading down to the historic Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach to play to another sold-out crowd. But it seems that their new found LA clout hasn’t clouded their vision. It was evident that the band’s performance was just as unpretentious as if they were playing to a room full of their best mates.

They closed the night with a un-miced version of “Winter Winds” in which keyboardist Ben Lovett picked up an accordion. Mumford played the mandolin. Country Wilson was on signature instrument the banjo. Ted Dwayne had his double bass. Their four voices echoed in harmonious unison that added an eerie and haunting element to the song. It sounded as though they were playing an old Irish folk song that had been passed down through generations. I was truly and happily impressed by the professionalism and talent of Mumford and Sons. Their recent success is certainly warranted. Don’t worry, for those that missed out on this performance they’ll be back in October (or so they said). They’ll also be making their festival rounds this summer so keep an eye out to catch them at one.

The only thing missing: Mumford’s mustache. He did say he tried to grow one but it ended up looking “like the hair on another body part.” So much for that.

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